The Iowa Hawkeyes took care of business to wrap up their regular season with a 40-10 rout of the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 25. However, the joy of picking up the victory was marred afterwards when Hawkeye defensive tackle Faith Ekakitie indicated that he had been the subject of racial slurs by at least two members of the Cornhusker offensive line.
Ekakitie, who didn’t indicate which Nebraska players had allegedly used the slur, noted that the incident took place during the first half of the game. After the game, he indicated that he said nothing about it to teammates and coaches until late in the game. He stated that the approach was an effort to calm down before bringing it to their attention and informing the coaching staff.
The fifth-year senior from Canada noted that the alleged slur was the first time he had been subjected to comments of that nature. The final score of the game helped Ekakitie gain a measure of revenge, with the lineman indicating that karma played a key role in how things played out.
Nebraska was informed of the issue and indicated the following day that they'd conduct an internal investigation on the matter. They began by asking the Iowa athletic department for the facts that they had obtained and issued a blanket condemnation of any racist comments. However, they offered no timetable as to when they would reach a conclusion on the matter.
The alleged incident was one of two over the holiday weekend in which racial slurs were a component. The other accusation came following the Clemson Tigers and South Carolina Gamecocks game on November 26th.
In that instance, a pregame scuffle began because of the alleged slur. Gamecocks’ linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams indicated that the epithet came from a Clemson player. Two other South Carolina players, wide receiver Terry Googer and defensive lineman Dante Sawyer, also referenced the comments.
Tigers’ head coach Dabo Swinney said two days later that his players denied that any slurs had been uttered. There’s no indication if Clemson plans on following up with their own internal investigation.
Incidents of racial slurs, whether on the field or off, tend to be few when it comes to college football. Instead, anti-gay slurs have been more of a problem, with a pair of 2013 incidents resulting in different decisions due to the availability of pertinent information.
In October of that year, a number of University of Mississippi football players were accused of yelling anti-gay slurs during an on-campus performance of a gay-themed play. Citing conflicting reports, school officials indicated that the players at the performance would be taking part in educational dialogue programs.
A few months later, Colorado State defensive line coach Greg Lupfer was suspended for two weeks after he was caught on camera using an anti-gay slur against an opposing quarterback.
With no concrete evidence available to Nebraska, the incident last Friday may end up being relegated to a simple reprimand or order to undergo diversity training.